Throwing blue shells and flinging banana peels will never get old, so it’s no surprise that Nintendo’s Mario Kart Tour has shot up to the top spot in the iOS App Store in 93 countries upon its launch on September 25, 2019.
And while the release date was announced one month ago, the game’s accompanying Gold Pass subscription option was not. Priced at US$4.99 per month, it will go live after a free two-week trial, and is set to come with the faster 200cc mode, extra in-game racing rewards, and exclusive bonuses in tow. A Nintendo account is required to play.
Pulling to the start line on iPhones and Android devices see some changes in the fan-favourite kart racer. For one, players can look forward to racing on tracks inspired by real-life locations, which will rotate every two weeks. Meanwhile, firing up a pipe with rubies – the in-game currency earned through gameplay or real cash – unlocks drivers, karts, and gliders. It seems RNG won’t be too much of an issue as well, with its menu revealing the odds of obtaining a specific unlock.
The lack of multiplayer experience is a bit of a bummer, though, especially since that forms a core part of the Mario Kart gameplay. It’s greyed out for now, but is expected to be available for a future update…sooner than later, hopefully.
Considering how Mario Kart Tour sports the same subscription fee as Apple Arcade, it’s a little too pricey for the content it offers. Apple’s newest service, in comparison, has over 100 titles up for grabs, with most of them set to be exclusive, so the money is probably put to better use there.
Still, don’t let that discourage you from your kart-racing dreams. Mario Kart Tour is certainly off to a good start, and it’s always nice to see some love for one of the most beloved racers ever. When the subscription fees kick in, that’s where the challenge of retention begins.